Kleptomania

Friday, May 09, 2014

Kleptomania is an addiction to stealing items that is not related to personal use or a monetary gain. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this serious mental health condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Kleptomania is the irresistible urge to steal items that you generally dont really need and that usually have little value. Kleptomania is a serious mental health disorder that can cause much emotional pain to you and your loved ones if not treated.

Kleptomania is a type of impulse control disorder a disorder in which you cant resist the temptation or drive to perform an act thats harmful to you or someone else.

Unlike typical shoplifters, people with kleptomania dont compulsively steal for personal gain. During the theft, they feel relief and gratification. Afterward, though, they may feel enormous guilt, remorse, self-loathing and fear of arrest. But the urge comes back, and the kleptomania cycle repeats itself.

Many people who may have kleptomania dont want to seek treatment because theyre afraid theyll be arrested or jailed. If you cant stop shoplifting or stealing, seek medical advice. Although theres no cure for kleptomania, treatment with medication or psychotherapy may be able to help end the cycle of compulsive stealing.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.